Monday, September 7, 2009

A packed weekend

Was it only yesterday morning that we went to that Nature Trail? Wow, feels like we've packed so much into this weekend already. On Saturday morning we packed the kids up and headed to the River Trail Nature Center in Northbrook/borderline Glenview. Our intent was to walk a trail for a bit, then have lunch. We walked into the Nature Center and it was the nicest center I have ever been in. In one room they had a big natural tank of turtles, live snakes behind glass habitats, skins of local animals, and a beehive room with a slab of honeycomb with bees encased in glass (THANK GOODNESS). Another alcove had binoculars available to view the bird houses outdoors. In an adjacent room was a big activity room, good for meetings, but also very kid-friendly with a "Fox Den" climbing apparatus with underground matted area to read in a cavelike setting, a reading area with lots of colorful books, a little fenced rug that was a fishpond, and a play table with little trees and woodland animals. There were more things, but I can't remember all the details. I think I'd take the kids back there again; it's a great place where they can run freely, in fact. Nikko got hooked on a fishing pole that was for magnetic fish. Unfortunately it was also the beginning of his demise because when it was time to go he didn't want to give it up. I had to say bye bye pole, put it back and drag him outside. Denis and I both grabbed an arm and he went Noodleman on us. I think we both pulled his arms too hard because outside he was crying and screaming and holding his arm as if it were hurt. I immediately felt bad and frustrated because he wouldn't relent, wanted to go back inside for the fishing pole, wouldn't let me touch his arm, and was making so much noise I'm sure the people fishing by the lake were annoyed. Not much calmed him down, sadly. I was determined that we would still continue trying to walk up the trail a bit, even though his continued crying was disturbing to me. I didn't want to bail. So, gave Audrey in the bjorn to Denis and picked up Nikko so we could do a little walking. It was a gorgeous weather day and Nikko weighs close to 40 pounds so I was soon regretting carrying him as he wriggled and squirmed while screaming at me, but for some reason I was determined to calm him down so I kept walking and trying to soothe him. I gave him his juice bottle and he didn't drink it right away. I put him down twice to see if he'd walk and he refused, opting for me to carry him while he still cried. On the third down I had to wipe Ronin's nose, and this time Nikko finally started drinking his juice and started walking quietly. I was relieved that the spell had been broken, but disturbed that it took so long to calm him down. I know that hauling him into the forest in a death grip probably wasn't very calming, but when I put him down in the parking lot he kept trying to run back to the nature center. The walk turned out ok, not long because it was lunch time. Food wasn't allowed in the park, a bummer, so we went to a neighboring park, found a picnic table in the shade and had a lovely lunch. We headed home and chilled out, but went back out again after an early dinner to check out the antique car show in downtown Mount Prospect. Nikko behaved pretty well, but Ronin was both excited and antsy. We came home and the kids played in the backyard one more time before going to bed. Chinny came over and Denis and I were able to celebrate our 6 year anniversary by going to dinner at La Tasca in Arlington Heights for some Spanish tapas, then visited his friend Reggie at Reggie's club Dream. We're old fogies so we didn't last that long, went home by 1:30 in fact.

Today we headed out to Poplar Creek in Hoffman Estates for Tito Ramon's surprise 65th birthday party. All our cousins were there. Nikko was extremely hungry, eating some leftover pizza and all the fries and chicken fingers served to him on his plate. He was also very behaved, as opposed to Ronin who wanted to sit, run, stand, you name it. Audrey was also very fussy; her nose was dripping this morning and things just went downhill after that. When everyone gathered around to sing Happy Birthday, my fears were confirmed when I saw Nikko clamp his hands over his ears and start protesting. I guess I need to read up on those sensory issues regarding hypersensitivity to loud noises. I've honestly skipped over those sections in the past because Nikko never reacted like he does now. I wonder if he gets retested for hearing if he will score differently. After the party we headed home and were supposed to go to a housewarming/birthday party at the Owsley's, but Ronin was coughing up a storm and Audrey had a little temperature. She was also acting incredibly crabby and I didn't think she'd last very long anywhere else. I had to call and cancel our appearance, regretfully. We stayed home the rest of the night. Ronin's coughing triggered a throw-up session and his breathing prompted me to administer some albuterol from his nebulizer. I'm going to check on him next. Audrey went down early, but I fear she'll wake up more than once in the middle of the night, crying and/or uncomfortable. She can't breathe well, which makes sucking on a pacifier very difficult.

We have no formal plans tomorrow, so I hope to use the time to do some overall cleanup. I hope the kids will let me.

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